Princess Gardens of Mayfair Review
Published 8 July 2009
Where is the best dim sum in London? That is a question that my foodie friends and I have been asking each other for eons, but have come no closer to discovering… until today, that is.
Rating: 8 out of 10 stars
Cuisine: Cantonese, dim sum
Price Range: £16 per head, with tea
This very lunchtime, right after an exhausting job interview (a long story for another time, another post), I went to Princess Gardens of Mayfair for dim sum on the suggestion of a friend. I had high expectations given the gushing review from her, and I was not to be disappointed.
Even from the outside, straight away you sense a high degree ofclassiness that is missing in most Chinese restaurants, apart from the top Yauatcha or Hakkasan. Perhaps it was the luxurious sofas in the waiting area, or the modern high class bar behind it, but something about the entrance of this restaurant screamed sophistication.
The rest of the place did not disappoint either, with tables spaced well apart (the same cannot be said of Chinatown restaurants), very conducive for a quiet lunch or dinner.
The dim sum menu range was quite extensive, with all the classics like har gau and siew mai, char siu bun to cheung fun, as well as some unique dishes. We ordered a range of staple dim sum dishes, and were not disappointed with the quality. It was good dim sum that tasted freshly made and with quality ingredients, with the key being that after the meal neither of us ended up with dry mouth, which is a common affliction in cheaper Chinese restaurants where they use MSG and flavour enhancers in the food.
Service was very professional, with the waiters and waitresses introducing each dish as it came out. However, we found that even with the restaurant more than half empty during a Wednesday afternoon, it was still almost impossible to get the attention of the waiting staff.
Pricing was also very favourable too, slightly more expensive than the traditional dim sum places, at around £2 to £3 per dish, but still very excellent value for the location (just off Oxford Street, a minute’s walk to Selfridges), as well as the décor and atmosphere inside, not to mention the quality of the dim sum.
Verdict: So is this the best dim sum place I have tried in London? It is certainly the one with the best atmosphere and one where I will confidently bring business clients or a date. But it runs a close second to another place that I have tried, Pearl Liang, based in Paddington.
Address: 8-10 North Audley Street, London W1K 6ZD
Tel: 020 7493 3223